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September 08, 2011

IBM Offers Database Solution to Enable Smart Meter Data Capture

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Consumers, corporations and government agencies are all banning together to try and drive more sustainable solutions, protect the environment and lower our reliance on fossil fuels. In this quest, utility companies are expanding on their efforts to develop the smart grid through the use of smart meters.

Smart meters and other smart solutions are designed to capitalize on the power of information as these utilities transform the grid. This move to the smart approach is expected to not only ensure a cleaner energy supply utility network, but also empower consumers and improve overall energy generation performance. Smart meters can deliver benefits throughout the value chain, not only benefitting the utilities, but also the end user.

A recent IBM (News - Alert) white paper, Build Smart Metering Solutions with IBM Informix TimeSeries, explores how smart meters change how utility companies capture data, which creates new possibilities for the use of that data. These meters can automatically record energy use in small increments, as small as 5 minutes. Traditional methods captured utility data just once per month to produce a bill.

This new data captured by the smart meter is used in two-way communications between the meter and the enterprise systems running outage management, time-of-use billing, load forecasting and other applications. This smart meter data can be used to optimize energy purchases, resolve service issues and improve overall power reliability. While all of these benefits are delivered, smart meters can also reduce consumer consumption and associated costs. 

While smart meter solutions promise significant advantages, utility companies and solution providers are still lacking effective ways to handle the massive volumes of data they plan to capture. Many of the current database solutions available today cannot load time series data fast enough or store the data efficiently to accommodate the performance and data requirements of the utility companies.

IBM suggests that to realize the full potential in smart meters, these utility companies and their partners must leverage a data management solution that is designed specifically to reduce data load times, improve query performance and decrease the storage capacity needs for time series data.

To learn more about how IBM can solve these challenges, access this white paper in full by visiting the TMCnet white paper library.

To find out more about IBM, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Mike McCarthy, vice president of Cloud Computing Services at IBM, is giving a KEYNOTE PRESENTATION – “The Cloud Computing Paradigm - Transforming Business, Technology and Industry” on Tuesday, September 13, 5:00pm to 5:30pm. Bowman Hall, director of Cloud Computing Client Engagements at IBM, is speaking during “Security in a Cloudy World.” Ajay Apte, IBM Workload Deployer, is speaking during “Cloud Computing Platforms – Which “aaS” is Right for You”. Marlon Machado, product manager of Unified Communications (News - Alert) and Collaboration Software at IBM, is speaking during “The Role of Unified Communications in Social Work Patterns“. Jim Colson, IBM Fellow, IBM Software Solutions Group - Industry Solutions Development, is speaking during “Turning Your Unified Communications Solution into a Mobile Asset”. William Rippon, Senior Network Engineer for IBM Research is speaking during “Why Video is a Must for Enterprise Communications”. Don’t wait. Register now.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO… follow us on Twitter.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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